Talk about creepy: one California councilman has been charged with sexual assault of not one, but seven women working with him. According to prosecutors, while managing the Orange County Public Works, Carlos Bustamante asked female employees into his office under the guise of talking about business. Once inside, he would kiss, grab, and masturbate in front of them. There are at least 12 other cases in which Bustamante can’t be charged due to limitations, but those cases will be used as evidence.

The women were afraid to come out against Bustamante and possibly lose their jobs, so the Santa Ana councilman’s inappropriate behavior went on for eight years. Orange Country District attorney Tony Rackauckas said, “This case exemplifies an abuse of power, an abuse of position, abuse of women, and abuse of trust,” according to the Daily Mail.

Bustamante was arrested on Monday and is set to be arraigned tomorrow. The charges against him include false imprisonment, assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense, stalking and sexual battery. His maximum sentence is a little over 26 years in state prison and almost two years in County jail.

It’s horrifying that a man who seemed “untouchable” could get away with eight years of abuse, but it’s fabulous to see that he'll be subjected to some form of justice. Hopefully, a conviction will empower other female employees dealing with unseemly working conditions to speak up and speak out. 


(Photos courtesy of NY Daily News and LiberalOC)

Tagged in: sexual harassment, politics, law, harassment, carlos bustamante, California, abuse   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.


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